Friday, September 19, 2008

The Great Cloth Diaper Experiment

Cloth Diapers

I am trying to find a way to save money. One thing way we keep throwing money in the trash, literally, is with our daily diaper use. We use 6 diapers per day, per child. With four children, that diaper use adds up and it all gets thrown in the garbage.

So…Okay, maybe I am nuts but I am changing the four little ones all over to cloth diapers. Yes, I will have four children in cloth diapers. Why am I doing this insane act? Do I want to live with the smell of wet diapers in a pail? Four sets of diapers? Well, that is something I am going to find out.

Katja needs training panties. She knows how to use the potty, but she is in a lazy mode and does not always make it to the potty. With everything that is going on here, I have not been able to focus time and remind her every so often. She needs to have training panties on, instead of a diaper, which will be uncomfortable and alert her that she is wet. So, the cloth diapers here look like training panties with Velcro. I will be using the largest size on Katja, which should speed up her toilet training.

The plan is for us to find used diapers and start the kids out next week. Cloth diapers are very expensive now. There are so many varieties here.

Here is our plan.

1. Not buy the diapers new. They are really expensive.
2. Bid on used diapers on ebay.
3. Ask the neighbors and the midwife if they have any or know of anyone who has old cloth diapers they do not use anymore.
4. Put diapers on all of the children during the day. I might put them on the older ones at night. They are very absorbent.
5. Use a paper lining product that you can get cheap, to catch the BM or poop so it is easier to dispose of. I swished them out in the potty when I had my first daughter in diapers and that was gross. I do not want to have to do that now, with four little bottoms at once.
6. Put the used diapers in a pail to soak with detergent in the water.
7. Wash the diapers every other day on 60°. This is a European temperature. They have a temperature that is 95°, which is close to boiling. It would get them cleaner but it would cost us more money. I plan to use the 60° first and then if that is not enough, I will move on to the higher temperature. The German washing machine I am using is awesome and will probably get everything out on 60°.
8. Hang the diapers up to dry. I would use our dryer, but again I am trying to save the family money. These diapers are thick so they will take longer to dry if I hang them up. We have a room in our basement where I do the laundry. The cellar does not get warm ever, so it takes longer to hang dry clothes. We also have a room in the cellar where the heating unit is located. This room is warm in the winter. I will be hanging the diapers up in this room. I will be timing how long it takes to dry them in this room. I am washing a pair today and want to see how long it takes to dry. On sunny days, which are rare in the winter here, I will hang them up outside.
9. If the children get wet and have trouble sleeping through the night, God forbid, I will put one disposable diaper on them at night.

This sounds like a bunch of work, and it will be. The idea is that I am hopefully going to save 200 Euros a month by cutting back on our diaper bill.

I will keep everyone updated.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Cloth Diapers are soft on the bum!